Oryx and Crake by Margaret AtwoodSeptember 24, 2009
I read this book years ago, when it was first released in paperback in 2004. Since the new book The Year of the Flood takes place in the same dystopian universe, I thought that I would review the original book. I’m not a huge fan of re-reading books, but I thought that since I enjoyed this one so much the first time around, that it would be fun to rediscover that world. It turns out that I was wrong. I certainly enjoyed reading it for a second time, but I certainly did not like the book nearly as much. Usually, I can never remember exact details or plot sequences of any of the books I read after a couple of years. I have a notoriously poor memory, and I read so much that there’s no way that I could remember all of that information. Oryx and Crake, however, is one of the books whose characters and imagery have stuck with me for years. There is one image that I remember in particular: a fake “chicken on a stick,” a creature that was created from DNA engineering to have nothing but the most vital organs and about a dozen breasts. There are all sorts of other crazy images; this one just happened to be the one that I will always remember. I was surprised to discover how much of the ending I remembered as soon as I sat down with the book. I wish that I could experience reading this book for the first time again, because I remember being shocked and horrified by so much of the book. But this time, unfortunately, the shock was gone, and I felt like I was reading this as a sort of “chore” before I could get to the fun stuff–the new book that just came out! But for first time readers, I would highly recommend this book. The story is so gripping, and the characters and images so memorable that you will feel like you never stopped reading it!